Bolivia: Oil workers start hunger strike in struggle for job reinstatement

Support the Gualberto Villarroel workers – send protests!

Eight months ago, the Brasilian multinational company, Petrobras, who were the former owners of the ’Gualberto Villaroel’ oil refinery in Bolivia, sacked trade union activists and leaders at the plant. Two months ago, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) government, lead by Evo Morales, took over the refinery but workers are still fighting to be reinstated to their former jobs.

Today, 17 July 2007, the sacked workers will start a hunger strike in the Bolivian capital, La Paz.

The Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) supports the fight and the demands of the fired Gualberto Villarroel workers, which are as follows:

  • All fired union leaders and workers must be immediately rehired
  • The national labor laws prohibiting two-tiered working conditions must be respected
  • All temporary contract workers must be signed to permanent contracts
  • The right to unionize must be respected

The CWI is helping to spread international support for the workers by appealing to workers and youth across the world to send urgent protests to the Bolivian government and the President. We call for more messages supporting the Gualberto Villarroel workers.

The CWI in Bolivia has been in close contact with the Gualberto Villarroel contract workers over recent months and is committed to supporting these workers as they enter into a new phase of struggle. The CWI in Bolivia, at the request of the fired union leaders and workers of the Gualberto Villaroel oil refinery, appeal to union leaders, workers, and members of the CWI everywhere to assist their struggle.

Express your solidarity with the Gualberto Villarroel workers, contact:

Send protest letters to the following Bolivian government officials:

Evo Morales, President of the Republic of Bolivia

Carlos Villegas, Hydrocarbons Minister

Guillermo Arequipa ,President of Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB)

For background information on the Gualberto Villarroel workers see previous article.

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July 2007